News Releases from Region 03
EPA Brownfields Grants Help Revitalize Luzerne Co. Mine-Scarred Land - Two $200,000 Brownfields Grants to Support Site Cleanup
PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 9, 2015) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of $400,000 in brownfields grants to Earth Conservancy in Luzerne County. The funding will support efforts underway to clean up mine scarred lands for reuse and redevelopment and prevent acid mine drainage going into local waterways.
"I applaud Earth Conservancy and its many partners for reclaiming nearly 2,000 acres of mine scarred lands, restoring nature's beauty and returning underutilized land into places for recreation and redevelopment," said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "This funding supports Earth Conservancy's plans for improving the quality of life of Luzerne County area residents by reclaiming areas for housing, commercial development and open space and at the same time protecting public health and the environment."
Regional Administrator Garvin made the announcement at the Hanover 9 Site near Luzerne County's Community College. This land was a strip mine site where prior EPA brownfields grants were used to clean up the land. Graded and revegetated, this site will open up opportunities for mixed-use development and conservation. This latest funding -- two $200,000 brownfields cleanup grants to Earth Conservancy -- will help extend cleanup efforts to additional parcels at the Bliss Bank Reclamation site, leading to future redevelopment.
"As a proud partner with the Earth Conservancy, we appreciate the $400,000 investment being made by EPA and the millions it has invested in helping the Earth Conservancy fulfill its mission of environmental stewardship," said Senator John Yudichak. "Together, the Earth Conservancy, DEP and EPA have forged a historic partnership that has produced unparalleled results in reducing pollution and producing jobs."
To date, EPA has provided Earth Conservancy with 12 brownfields grants since 2003 totaling $2.4 million. This funding has been used to reclaim 2,000 acres of abandoned mine land in Luzerne Co.
The grants announced today were among 243 brownfields grants totaling $54.3 million that EPA awarded through a nationwide competitive process this year.
For additional information on Earth Conservancy's mine reclamation: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/gfs/index.cfm?xpg_id=8975&display_type=HTML.
For information about brownfields cleanup grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/assessment_grants.htm.
For a list of all brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/.